Brig Don Nabaasa Takes Over His New Office as Contingent Commander

A new Contingent Commander of the Ugandan troops deployed in Somalia, under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has assumed office.

Brig. Gen. Don William Nabasa succeeds Brig. Gen. Richard Otto, who has served as the contingent commander for the last one year, and has completed his tour of duty.

Brig. Nabasa officially assumed office as sector one commander on Thursday at a function presided over by Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, the Commander of Land Forces of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. AMISOM has six sectors across Somalia.

The other five sectors are manned by troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Speaking at the event, Lt. Gen. Elwelu hailed the outgoing contingent commander and his team for the diligence with which they executed their work, and for staying the course of the mission, especially in light of the challenges and disruptions brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“I want to congratulate Gen. Otto for having successfully ended his tour of duty. It has not been an easy journey-a journey which had its own challenges, especially when this pandemic (Covid-19) came into play but you managed to keep the mission on,” Lt. Gen Elwelu noted.

He also congratulated Maj. Gen. Nabasa upon his appointment and expressed optimism that he will equal the task ahead.

The UPDF Commander Land Forces urged all the other officers to render the new contingent commander all the necessary support, noting that there is a mission to accomplish, which is to restore peace and stability in Somalia, and ultimately in the region.

“We need to keep focus on that mission and our mission here is a mission designed to help our brothers and sisters- the Somalis to stand on their two legs and be able to manage the affairs of their country. That is why we are here,” Lt. Gen. Elwelu explained.

He however cautioned the soldiers to desist from pursuing joy, called for teamwork and reminded the officers to work closely with the local communities, the host government and partners.

“Remember that you are not alone and that we need everybody. So always listen to our partners, talk to them and where need be, seek their guidance and support,” he advised.

In his acceptance speech, Maj.Gen. Nabasa pledged to do his best to help restore peace and stability in Somalia.

“I thank the leadership for entrusting me with this responsibility and pledge to do my best to continue to contribute to the efforts of providing peace and stability to our brothers and sisters in Somalia and the region,” Maj.Gen. Nabasa said.

Maj.Gen. Nabasa is not new to Somalia, having initially served in Somalia in 2014 as the Special Forces Component Commander and took part in numerous military operations that culminated in the capture of a number of key towns from the Al-Shabaab, including Barawe.

Prior to his deployment in Somalia as contingent commander, Nabasa served as the commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), an elite unit that is responsible for the security of the President of Uganda and special operations.

The UPDF was the first army to deploy in Somalia under the AMISOM in 2007 and by then, the Ugandan army was controlling less than 10% of the battered capital Mogadishu, the biggest part being in the hands of the Al Shabaab insurgents.

UPDF’s deployment demystified the saying that AMISOM was a “dead on arrival” mission before opening the way for other countries to send armies in Somalia.

Since their expulsion from Mogadishu, Al Shabaab insurgents loom in other areas mostly in the Lower Shabelle region.

As Contingent Commander, Maj.Gen. Don Nabasa will be in charge of Ugandan troops that control the largest area in Somalia after being deployed in Sector One which takes charge of Benadir,(has 16 districts) Banadir, and Lower Shabelle regions having pushed Al Shabaab militants for over 200km away from Mogadishu city.

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